Local Resources for Collier and Lee County

At present, this page just lists the various links for our local resources. This will soon be heavily revised and enhanced. Stay tuned.

Where to Start

  • AHCA: Medicaid Services – Their Agency was statutorily created by Chapter 20, Florida Statutes as the chief health policy and planning entity for the state. We are primarily responsible for the state’s $18 billion Medicaid program that serves over 2.7 million Floridians.
  • Children’s Medical Services – Children’s Medical Services is a collection of special programs for eligible children with special needs
  • Early Steps for Southwest Florida – To help infants and toddlers in Collier, Lee, Glades, and Hendry Counties.
  • Florida Department of Children & Families – The ACCESS Florida Program is responsible for public assistance eligibility determination and ongoing case management of Food Assistance, Temporary Cash Assistance and Medicaid.
  • Florida Health CMS – Florida’s Children’s Medical Services Managed Care Plan (CMS Plan) provides children with special health care needs a family-centered, comprehensive, and coordinated system of care.
  • Florida KidCare – Florida KidCare is affordable health insurance. Through Florida KidCare, the state of Florida offers health insurance for children from birth through age 18, even if one or both parents are working.
  • Golisano | Nicklaus Children’s Health Center – Our services are close and convenient; and our health professionals provide the highest level of care for our youngest patients. Your children are our sole focus.
  • Naples Community Hospital North – NCH Pediatric Outpatient Rehabilitation provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy for infants, children, and teens. Our clinics offer a pediatrics only gym and private treatment rooms.

Pediatrics

  • Lee Health – Our commitment to providing exceptional children’s health care comes to life everyday through our comprehensive pediatric care services.
  • Lighthouse Pediatrics of Naples – Lighthouse Pediatrics stems from our deep faith in God and our belief that God has a mission for this practice. We believe that by combining biblical principles with best medical practices, we can provide our families with quality care in a loving, nurturing environment.
  • Wilson Pediatrics – We strive to provide the kind of “old fashioned” service that is now more commonly being associated with private “membership fee” practices. We take our own after hours call (not a “call service”) and answer our phones from morning to close with live people (not machines).

Therapy

  • O’Connell Behavioral Services – 5432 Rattlesnake Hammock RD. Naples, Florida, FL 34113 Phone: (239) 316-7657
  • Cynchronisity – Cynthia is sharing treatments that have helped her and her family so that others can experience a better balanced life and move forward in their lives with ease and grace.
  • Every Step Counts Behavioral Therapy – Our mission is to educate, empower, inform, and support families and show them that every step counts towards enhancing the life of their child while helping them reach their fullest potential. At Every Step Counts we are devoted to providing the highest quality of direct individualized therapy based on the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis to children who fall on the Autism Spectrum and have other related disorders. Via their website.
  • MF Therapy Group Naples – Occupational Therapy is a rehabilitation specialty that is provided by a licensed individual.
  • Naples Equestrian Challenge, Inc. – At NEC, they offer activities to address the physical, mental, and social challenges their riders face. Their riders come to them with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Stroke, Autism, Amputations, Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord injuries.
  • Paws assistance dogs mission – PAWS Assistance Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes independence for combat wounded veterans and children with life-changing disabilities through partnerships with skilled assistance dogs.
  • Speak 2 Me Speech & Language Therapy – proudly provides speech and language services to pediatrics within the natural environment/home, as well as within the schools. We conduct evaluations and provide individual therapy sessions. We also offer additional services, such as screenings, observations, reports, and attending parent-teacher conferences. via their website.
  • STEPPING STONES THERAPEUTICS, LLC – Provides intensive ABA therapy for children and individuals, with autism and other intellectual disabilities, and behavioral diagnoses, and are dedicated to providing the highest quality services for children and families. We offer home-based, school-based and community-based ABA programs throughout the Delaware Valley utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior. via their website.

Education

  • Able Academy – Provides many programs, including a full time school program for children preschool through high school aged, social skills classes and an early intensive intervention clinic where preschool-aged children receive intensive, course altering therapy.
  • Center for Parent Information and Resources – All about the Individualized Education Program (IEP): This is a written document listing, among other things, the special educational services that the child will receive. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the child’s parents and school staff.
  • CPALMS: Educator Toolkits
  • Down syndrome Information Alliance: Educators
  • Education for our children: Encouraging the Involvement of Parents of Children with Disabilities
  • Exceptional Student Education Exceptional Student Education: Sharing the commitment is a collaborative advisory that has been created to foster effective partnerships between parents, schools, and the community.
  • Florida Department of EducationMcKay Scholarship: Florida’s school choice programs allow parents to choose the best educational setting—public or private—for their child. A parent of an eligible special needs student may choose to transfer the student to another public school.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.
  • Naples Children & Education Foundation – The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) was established in 2001 with the vision of making a profound and sustaining difference in the lives of children in Collier County.
  • The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) is the only national membership organization dedicated solely to meeting the needs of special education teachers and those preparing for the field of special education teaching.
  • Ruby’s Rainbow: Are you looking for assistance with secondary education? If so, Ruby’s Rainbow can help you with this. PO Box 153095 Austin, TX 78715 Phone: (512) 879-7801 e-mail: Liz@rubysrainbow.org Follow them on Facebook & Twitter.


Sharing the Commitment to Excellence: Is a collaborative advisory to the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department in the Collier County Public Schools.

  • Foster increased communication, commitment, and shared responsibilities between the school district, parents and community agencies to provide quality programs and services to students with disabilities in our schools.
  • Provide a forum for parents with students with disabilities to discuss critical issues and concerns and to provide input for federal grant spending for IDEA Entitlement.
  • Serve as a resource for the ESE Director and school site Principals in matters pertaining to ESE programs and services.
  • Provide information and training to school‐based administrators, staff and community agencies on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Exceptional Student Education Department, the South Florida Parent Center, and the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource System (FDLRS), provide information, training and support to parents, educators, and agencies regarding services and programs for students with disabilities. Sharing the Commitment sponsors workshops or training for all persons interested in services for students with disabilities. All schools and community agencies sponsoring a training or workshop receive an ESE Parent/Professional Library for their school media center.

  • U.S. Department of Education: Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities.
  • Virtus Academy: provides an exceptional educational experience for children with developmental and behavioral challenges, focusing on individual strengths and promoting personal advancement to reach each child’s full potential. 2675 Horseshoe Drive S, #404 Naples, Florida 34104 Phone: (800) 217-9289 ext 704

Organizations

  • Art Fest Naples – Art Fest Naples is held every year to raise money for Children and Adults with additional needs.
  • Buddy Break Naples – A free respite program which provides caregivers of VIPs with a break. VIPs ages 2-16 are welcome as well as their siblings.
  • Ciocca Apps – A small indie app development company run by a father and son team who developed the youBelong app. youBelong is the first social network for exceptional people and their families!
  • Community Resources Network of Florida, Inc. – They believes that individuals with developmental disabilities shall be afforded an array of services to promote their individuality and sense of well being.  We strive to adopt the individuals priorities as our own to help them thrive in the community.  We are driven by the needs of the individuals we serve.
  • Connection Coalition – The Connection Coalition of Southwest Florida is a regional collaboration of private and public agencies, health care and disability rights advocates, professionals, educators,  transportation organizations, housing and service  providers, individuals with disabilities and their  families and friends.
  • Easterseals Academy – Provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. 8793 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 111 Naples, FL 34113 Phone: (239) 403-0366
  • Eliana Tardio – Eliana Tardio has a wonderful website and has been helping parents in the Naples area for years
  • Family Care Council Florida – Their mission is to advocate, educate, and empower individuals with development disabilities and their families.
  • Family Network on Disabilities – Family Network on Disabilities (FND) was founded in 1985 by a group of parents of children with disabilities who came together for mutual support and information-sharing.  FND is a grassroots organization for persons with disabilities and their families that is family-centered and family-driven.
  • Florida’s Voice on Developmental Disabilities – Helping families and friends learn about services, resources, programs, events, and laws and legislation as they pertain to persons with developmental disabilities.
  • Foundation for the Developmentally Disabled – Ensuring that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support they need to be full members of the community. We encompass all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X, cerebral palsy, spina bifida
  • Freedom Waters Foundation – Their mission is to improve the lives of individuals with special needs and veterans by providing therapeutic marine related experiences on the waters of South Florida.
  • Gigi’s Playhouse Fort Myers – All of our therapeutic and educational programs and tutoring are free and support all ages, from families with a prenatal diagnosis through adult individuals with Down syndrome.
  • Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples – Their mission is to provide an exciting, inspiring environment where children and their families play, learn and dream together.
  • Goodwill – Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida is committed to serving people with disabilities and disadvantages by offering life-changing opportunities to achieve independence.
  • Kelle Hampton – Kelle Hampton just had a beautiful baby girl with Down syndrome and is sharing her story with the world.
  • NAMI Collier County – NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Collier County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults, children and families affected by serious mental illnesses.
  • Paws assistance dogs mission – PAWS Assistance Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes independence for combat wounded veterans and children with life-changing disabilities through partnerships with skilled assistance dogs.
  • Soukup – makes our community stronger by providing nonprofit organizations with expertise in fundraising and nonprofit management and more beneficial information.
  • Special Olympics Collier County – Special Olympics dwells on all the things these athletes CAN do.
  • TARA – has dedicated time and finances each year to promoting concerts for the benefit of The Eden Institute Foundation and Eden Florida. If you like music you need to check this site out.
  • Trailblazer Academy – Helps participants gain independence and job skills and explore pre-employment opportunities. It also includes special enrichment experiences for an overall quality of life. Call the FDD office at (239) 594-9007 for more information.
  • The Naples Players – KidzAct Youth Education offers Sensory Friendly classes for students with autism, Down syndrome, and other sensory processing disorders; and welcomes all abilities and backgrounds.
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Flroida: At United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida in Naples, we believe that people with disabilities have the right to a full and productive life that includes a home, family, work and community participation.

Housing

  • CASL, Inc. – Our mission is to provide housing options and support for individuals with behavioral and co-occurring disorders by adhering to a housing first model so that they can sustain living independently.
  • LARC, Inc. – LARC owns and operates two residential group homes in Lee County.
  • Sandy Park Development Center – Our goal is to provide support for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities by enhancing their quality of life. We do this through community involvement and participation as well as enrichment opportunities throughout their life.